The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest has issued a decision to close the Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls trail from September 25th, 2017 to July 1, 2018 to allow access to logging by the Weyerhauser company. An early section of the trail is adjacent to private property, on which Weyerhauser is scheduled to begin logging this September. To access the area for logging, which will not take place on National Forest Land, Weyerhauser has requested, and received, access to the lower part of the Serene Trail, which retains a past dual designation as a road.
Washington Wild coordinated a letter signed by 16 conservation and recreation groups expressing concern to the Forest Service about the significant impact on recreation opportunities for the area. Over 45,000 Washingtonians use this the Lake Serence trail each year and closure through July overlaps with some of the prime hiking season for this family-friendly, close to Seattle hike. A number of improvements to the project were suggested, but unfortunately not included as part of the final decision.
Many of the organizations who signed the letter have supported the acquisition of this private inholding for more than a decade. The adjacent parcel has been part of requests for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) funding with the intent of avoiding this type of conflict between the public and recreationists and the impacts of adjacent private landowner management. Our partners at Forterra have lunched a public campaign to save the Lake Serene Trail by acquiring the property from Weyerhauser, ensuring minimal impacts to the trail now and protecting it for future generations.
Read more about the amazing experience this trail has to offer here.